21 Tesla features that make them unlike any other electric cars

21 Tesla features that make them unlike any other electric cars

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Red Tesla Model 3 with frunk open and a pair of boots and a yellow cloth inside.
Tesla Model 3 frunk

  • Autopilot is a Tesla feature that gets a lot of attention.
  • But the cars come equipped with many more, including the “frunk,” which competitors have copied.
  • Other unique Tesla features include “Dog mode” and “Ludicrous Plus Mode.”

Tesla vehicles are engineered with a plethora of interesting add-ons and easter eggs.

Some of the features are what you might expect from a tech-savvy car company, like the Tesla app and key card. Others reflect Elon Musk’s unique sense of humor and have added to Tesla’s cult following.

From sentry mode to “caraoke,” these 21 Tesla features — and some bonus ones rumored to be coming in an upcoming software update — put the cars in a league of their own.

1. Autopilot
Individual driving through city with Tesla Autopilot engaged
Tesla’s vehicles are equipped with its driver assistance system called Autopilot.

All Tesla models are equipped with a driver assistance system called Autopilot.

The feature enables a car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane. The function does not replace the role of a driver, but is intended to make driving easier and cut down on accidents.

New Tesla models have eight cameras and 12 sensors that provide a 360-view of the vehicle’s surroundings, per the carmaker’s website. In the past, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has compared the Autopilot cameras to the human eye.

The system also features an $8,000 or $99 per month Full-Self Driving add-on which can change lanes, as well as recognize stop lights and stop signs. The feature is currently in beta testing.

 

2. Caraoke
Craig Robinson holding microphone in "Caraoke Showdown" promo
Craig Robinson will host Spike’s “Cara oke Showdown.”

In 2019, Tesla’s got a new “caraoke ‘ function, which allows Tesla owners to choose from a vast selection of music and song lyrics.

The feature became especially popular in China. In January, the carmaker’s $188 in-car  Tesla karaoke microphones sold out within an hour of the initial launch in China. The TeslaMic is currently only available in China.

The “caraoke” music selection also features music in different languages. But don’t get the idea that you’ll be able to sing caraoke while driving, in order for this feature to work, the car has to be parked. 

 

3. Bioweapon defense mode
Elon Musk in front of Tesla car discussing Bioweapon Defense Mode
Tesla CEO Elon Muck talking about the Bioweapon Defense Mode in 2015.

4. Touchscreen
Tesla Autopilot closeup while driving in city

All Tesla models feature a unique touchscreen that comes with an array of features including video games, streaming services, and live traffic updates.

The screens are also home to standard features like climate control and navigation but look nothing like anything else on the market. 

 

5. Streaming and video gaming
Tesla Autopilot
Tesla often updates its infotainment system with apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.

Tesla is constantly updating its infotainment system with apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.

The system also has several options including Theater, Arcade, Toybox, and Browser. With the Arcade setting, drivers can use the steering wheel buttons or a USB controller to play full games.

The majority of the entertainment features are only available when the car is parked, but drivers have said it has helped them pass time when Teslas are charging or stuck in major traffic jams. In 2022, a Tesla driver said he watched Netflix while stuck in a 14-hour traffic jam in snowy weather.

 

6. Web browser
Tesla web browser icons on touch screen
Tesla connectivity provides access to features that require data.

Tesla connectivity provides drivers with access to features that require data, like streaming music, media, and live traffic visualization.

With Tesla’s premium connectivity, you can access various websites while your car is parked, including Hulu, Spotify, and PLEX media player.

 

7. Easter eggs
Tesla lotus easter egg appearing on the vehicle's touch screen
Each Tesla is programmed with virtual Easter eggs.

Each Tesla is programmed with virtual Easter eggs that can range anywhere from Santa in a sleigh, a rainbow-like road, and even the port of your supercharger lighting up with colors of the rainbow.

8. Air suspension
Tesla smart air suspension displayed on touch screen
Tesla’s auto raising air suspension system changes based on the GPS coordinates of your vehicle.

Teslas are equipped with a smart auto raising air suspension system that changes based on the GPS coordinates of your vehicle.

Users also have the option to change the firmness of the suspension manually through the Tesla control panel. This feature could really come in handy if you’re traveling across the country, and experience changes in the road.

9. Sentry mode
Tesla sentry mode catching vandals kicking charging port
Sentry mode alerts owners and shows a recording when a vehicle has been hit.

Sentry mode allows you to keep a close eye on your parked vehicle from anywhere in the world.

Let’s say someone hits your car with a shopping cart, your Tesla will start recording from the outside cameras and alert you that your vehicle has been hit through the Tesla app. This feature eliminates the stress of ever wondering where that mysterious dent came from. 

 

10. Superchargers
Tesla Model 3 at a Supercharger in Montana
There are more than 35,000 Tesla supercharging stations in the world.

11. The key
Individual holding a Tesla key card
I picked up the car in the parking garage at the Bozeman airport.

There are plenty of options that aren’t traditional keys for a Tesla.

If you don’t want to use your phone or the card, there are also unique key fobs shaped like a Tesla car. 

 

12. Auto-presenting doors
People walk near a Tesla vehicle
The Tesla Model X has doors that unlock and fully open as the driver approaches.

The Tesla Model X has doors that unlock and fully open as the driver approaches, carrying the key.

The automatic-open option is a setting that can be turned off or on in Tesla’s in-car display.

In July 2022, Musk dubbed the feature “one of the best” Model X features.

 

13. The app
Screenshots from the Tesla app showing the process for charging a non-Tesla vehicle.
Screenshots from the Tesla app show the process for charging a non-Tesla vehicle.

One of the most interesting things about Tesla is the app, which allows drivers to control their car from virtually anywhere.

The app sends real-time updates if sentry mode were to activate. You can also check the status of your vehicle while it’s charging, control the air conditioning and heat, and also lock and unlock your car. 

14. Over-the-air updates
Tesla owners are complaining about a software update.
Tesla owners are complaining about a software update.

Tesla vehicles frequently receive over-the-air updates which are designed to send new features to the vehicles and “make them safer,” Tesla’s website says.

The vehicles cannot be operated when updates are being installed, but you can operate your vehicle when updates are downloading. Other automakers have since adopted Tesla’s approach for vehicle updates. 

15. Ludicrous Plus mode
Tesla driving on asphalt in desert in Track Mode

If you have a need for speed and want to take your Tesla to the race track, then ludicrous plus mode is for you.

This feature heats up the Tesla battery to an optimum temperature that allows the vehicle to hit maximum speed.

16. Plaid mode
Tesla Model X Plaid, Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and Lamborghini Aventador SVJ racing
The Tesla Model X Plaid, Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and Lamborghini Aventador SVJ.

Tesla Model S Plaid mode is another feature for speed racers.

Teslas with plaid mode “have batteries and three electric motors that can produce up to 1,020 horsepower and can take the car from zero to 60 miles an hour in just two seconds,” CNN says. That brings these cars in the same performance bracket as Bugatti’s and Lamborghinis.

17. Dog mode
Dog Honeycomb and the Tesla Model X charging at a Tesla Supercharger in Le Mans, France
Dog Honeycomb and the Tesla Model X charging at a Tesla Supercharger in Le Mans, France, on June 1, 2024.

With your family pooch in mind, the carmaker introduced Tesla dog mode to keep them in the car with the temperature of the car being regulated to avoid the animal overheating.

The touchscreen on the car will display a background letting curious bystanders know that your car is a comfortable temperature for your dog and that you will be back.

In December 2022, Tesla released an additional feature that enables users watch to their dog in realtime while its in the car by transmitting a live feed from the cabin camera directly to the Tesla app.

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18. Automatic cabin overheat protection
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla also has an automatic climate control system for severe weather conditions.

Tesla also has an automatic climate control system for severe weather conditions.

The Cabin Overheat Protection system turns on when the interior of the empty car hits 105 degrees.

Tesla’s website when you adjust the cabin temperature in Auto, it “automatically adjusts the heating, air conditioning, air distribution, and fan speed to maintain the cabin at your selected temperature.”

19. Fart mode
Tesla Model 3 touchscreen
Tesla Model 3’s touchscreen.

Tesla cars are equipped with a fart mode that allows your vehicle to sound like its breaking wind.

The driver can even choose which speaker the sound comes from to give the impression that the sound is coming from a specific seat or direction.

The carmaker used to have a boombox mode as well, which allowed drivers to replace the sound of their horn with anything from the sound of a bleating goat to a round of applause, but the feature was disabled in February over concerns from the NHTSA.

20. The frunk
White Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous Mode CES with front hood open
Tesla’s frunk is just like a trunk, but in the front instead of the back.

Most cars have a truck in the back, but why would Tesla pass up the opportunity to be anything less than original.

The frunk is just like a trunk, but in the front instead of the back — another feature quickly copied by competitors. 

Since Tesla adopted the frunk other automakers have followed suit. For example, the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck also has a frunk feature.

The EV giant released a series of updates in May, including a hands-free automatic trunk that opens when you stand behind it.

21. Explicit lyrics bar on infotainment system
Tesla vehicles sitting on the lot at a Tesla dealership.
Tesla vehicles sitting on the lot at a Tesla dealership in Austin, Texas.

Through your Tesla music app on the infotainment system, you can censor explicit lyrics in songs, which is perfect for driving with young children.

 

The rumored new “Night Curfew” feature can send parents notifications when their Tesla is driven past a set curfew time.
Teslas parked in lot in evening
The new “Night Curfew” feature reportedly sends notifications to the Tesla app when a vehicle is driven past a set curfew time.

The rumored 2024.26 update was released to employees on July 3, according to Not a Tesla App and Tessie, two websites that track Tesla software changes.

The update includes new parental controls, with a number of features that can be enabled with a vehicle PIN, according to the reports. The new “Night Curfew” feature sends notifications to the Tesla mobile app when a vehicle is driven past a set curfew time.

For parents who worry their kid could be taking advantage of the extra zip and high top speed possible with a Tesla, there may also be new controls that give parents the ability to set a maximum speed limit and reduce acceleration.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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